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13-Year-Old Feels ‘Entitled’ And Makes Fun Of Poor Kids, Mom Makes Him Wear Goodwill For A Week
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13-Year-Old Feels ‘Entitled’ And Makes Fun Of Poor Kids, Mom Makes Him Wear Goodwill For A Week

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We are currently in the midst of an empathy crisis. Whatever the cause may be – a system that values individualism and competition over community perhaps, or a loss of face-to-face human contact in favor of anonymous interactions through screens – people are seemingly finding it harder to walk in another person’s shoes.

This decline in emotional intelligence leads to people finding it more difficult to relate to others and consider alternative perspectives on life, makes us less able to listen and truly understand the problems that need to be solved as a society, and even robs us of the self-awareness needed to understand our own emotional responses. The result? An atomized and bitterly divided place where everyone is shouting, but nobody is listening.

Image credits: Cierra Brittany Forney

So how do we teach empathy? One way is through experience – getting out of your comfort zone to see the world the way other people see it. Cierra Forney, from Braselton, Georgia, knows this, so when her 13-year-old son started to get a little full of himself and looking down on others for their circumstances, she decided to give him a valuable lesson.

Image credits: Cierra Brittany Forney

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Cierra’s little story went insanely viral, with over 1 million likes and shares since she wrote it back in 2018. People mostly reacted positively to her example of meaningful parenting, although obviously there were the usual haters and trolls too. She addressed these in a later post, explaining that she just wants the best for her son, and to help him grow into a thoughtful, tolerant and empathetic man.

“All the public shaming and saying my son will grow to hate me, sue me and later kill me are just awful,” she wrote. “My son and I have an amazing relationship. He tells me everything and trusts me wholeheartedly. I DO NOT care what anyone has to say about my post because I SOLELY did this to help my son become a better man. All the positive feedback and comments have brought me to tears and so have all the negative ones. All that matters is my son is completely 100 percent okay with what happened.”

“My son has learned a valuable lesson from this AND he is rockin’ the button-up shirt he bought from the Goodwill with PRIDE today!!!”

What do you think? Was this a good way to teach a child to be kinder and more empathetic towards others? Do you often visit thrift stores yourself? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Here’s how people reacted to Cierra’s post

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James Caunt

James Caunt

Writer, Community member

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James is a Bored Panda reporter who graduated with a BA in Peace And Conflict Studies and an MA in African Affairs. Before Bored Panda, he was an English teacher and also travelled a lot, doing odd jobs from beer-slinging to brickie's labourer and freelance journalism along the way. James loves covering stories about social and environmental issues and prefers to highlight the positive things that unite us, rather than petty internet squabbles about fictional characters. James is the grumpy, contradictory one who thinks that Bored Panda, due to its large audience, has a social responsibility to inspire and inform its readers with interesting issues and entertaining, well-researched stories. Let's do our bit to make our little corner of the internet a smarter, more truthful and less angry place!

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James Caunt

James Caunt

Writer, Community member

James is a Bored Panda reporter who graduated with a BA in Peace And Conflict Studies and an MA in African Affairs. Before Bored Panda, he was an English teacher and also travelled a lot, doing odd jobs from beer-slinging to brickie's labourer and freelance journalism along the way. James loves covering stories about social and environmental issues and prefers to highlight the positive things that unite us, rather than petty internet squabbles about fictional characters. James is the grumpy, contradictory one who thinks that Bored Panda, due to its large audience, has a social responsibility to inspire and inform its readers with interesting issues and entertaining, well-researched stories. Let's do our bit to make our little corner of the internet a smarter, more truthful and less angry place!

Justinas Keturka

Justinas Keturka

Author, BoredPanda staff

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I'm the Visual Editor at Bored Panda, responsible for ensuring that everything our audience sees is top-notch and well-researched. What I love most about my job? Discovering new things about the world and immersing myself in exceptional photography and art.

Read less »

Justinas Keturka

Justinas Keturka

Author, BoredPanda staff

I'm the Visual Editor at Bored Panda, responsible for ensuring that everything our audience sees is top-notch and well-researched. What I love most about my job? Discovering new things about the world and immersing myself in exceptional photography and art.

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catmarshall57 avatar
BusLady
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I get most of my clothing from thrift shops. I'm low income, and could never afford the prices for new items. I have found some great pieces, and also have bought oversized clothing just for the fabric. Then I re-work the garment to suit me. Buying used clothing is good for the environment as well.

feckerkehoe avatar
Iggy
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wish I had your sewing skills. I can do hemming and waistbands but after that, I'm a disaster.

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dirigobill avatar
Bill
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I finally have some wealth and I still shop at Goodwill. One of my roomates years back got a 5,000$ evening dress for 10$

james_fox1984 avatar
Foxxy’s #1 fan
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I used to get paid out through my school years coz I wore hand me downs, home made clothes or second hand clothes. But despite that I will still continue to buy second hand clothing or wear hand me downs etc. And I often go op shopping with my kids, even spending their own money. You can find some awesome stuff at a bargain price. I love a good bargain.

catmarshall57 avatar
BusLady
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's how it was when I was growing up. Unfortunately, most of the clothes given to me were ill-fitting or in very worn condition. I learned how to sew at 12, and learned how to do alterations and repairs. The mom here could teach a better lesson by sitting down with the kid and explaining poverty and how it is not the other kid's fault that their families are poor. They are buying used to stay in their budget. I was happy when we got to go to Goodwill. I could pick out my own clothes.

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catmarshall57 avatar
BusLady
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I get most of my clothing from thrift shops. I'm low income, and could never afford the prices for new items. I have found some great pieces, and also have bought oversized clothing just for the fabric. Then I re-work the garment to suit me. Buying used clothing is good for the environment as well.

feckerkehoe avatar
Iggy
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wish I had your sewing skills. I can do hemming and waistbands but after that, I'm a disaster.

Load More Replies...
dirigobill avatar
Bill
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I finally have some wealth and I still shop at Goodwill. One of my roomates years back got a 5,000$ evening dress for 10$

james_fox1984 avatar
Foxxy’s #1 fan
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I used to get paid out through my school years coz I wore hand me downs, home made clothes or second hand clothes. But despite that I will still continue to buy second hand clothing or wear hand me downs etc. And I often go op shopping with my kids, even spending their own money. You can find some awesome stuff at a bargain price. I love a good bargain.

catmarshall57 avatar
BusLady
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's how it was when I was growing up. Unfortunately, most of the clothes given to me were ill-fitting or in very worn condition. I learned how to sew at 12, and learned how to do alterations and repairs. The mom here could teach a better lesson by sitting down with the kid and explaining poverty and how it is not the other kid's fault that their families are poor. They are buying used to stay in their budget. I was happy when we got to go to Goodwill. I could pick out my own clothes.

Load More Replies...
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